Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced a new bipartisan bill on Thursday called the CTE Excellence and Equity Act. The act is intended to amend Title II of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act to support innovative approaches to career and technical education, and redesign the high school experience for students. The goal is for students to engage in real-world, relevant education through partnerships with businesses and higher education so that they enroll in postsecondary education without the need for remediation and with a set of 21st-century skills.
In the introduction of the bill, the senators emphasized that the bill would allow students to gain in-demand workforce skills while still in high school and help them become credentialed for a high-paying job faster and at a lower cost to them. Sen. Baldwin also spoke about the emphasis on public-private partnerships to create stronger and more community-focused programs. Each of the senators hope to see their home state legislatures take on similar legislation and continue to look for ways to redesign high school to meet their state’s unique needs.
The Perkins act is overdue for reauthorization, and NASSP worked with Congress to ensure our priorities, as outlined in a letter we sent in October, would be found in draft legislation. The CTE Excellence and Equity Act aligns with our priorities, and NASSP has endorsed this bill.
In the bill’s introduction, NASSP Executive Director JoAnn D. Bartoletti stated:
“Students do their best work when it is authentic and meaningful, and that work is represented best in CTE programs. The CTE Excellence and Equity Act provides those real-world experiences to typically underrepresented students to ensure they are prepared for college and career success. Just as important, the bill recognizes the need for CTE-based professional development for educators, which is essential to CTE success in a school.”